IT'S NOT THE ACTUAL GLOBE THEATRE FROM 1599. That one burned down in 1613, in a cannon accident during a production of Henry VIII. That theater was also rebuilt the following year and enjoyed only three more decades of existence until it was demolished in 1644.
Thanks to actor and director Sam Wanamaker, the 16th-century playhouse that Shakespeare acted in with the Lord Chamberlain's Men is no longer completely lost to history. Today's Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, a modern reconstruction of the 1614 reconstruction, sits a mere 230 meters away from the original Globe. Maintaining a thrust stage and simple bench seats, the new theatre's structure is made entirely of English Oak and timber frame, capped with the only thatched roof permitted in London since the 1666 fires.
Not to worry, the roof is aided with sprinklers and protected by fire retardants. Not to mention, incessant London rain.
Being in the theater brought to my mind how little of Shakespeare remains in my present life, to think that I had in my youth, recited by heart the monologues of Helena and Hermia, of Viola, of Portia. Even Puck at times, for the simple reason that it thrilled me to do so and the neighbors could use a break from my singing anyway.
Nowadays, all I seem to regularly utter are "I'm tired.", "I'm hungry.", "What's for dinner?" or "We need to go grocery shopping."
So as I muster up whatever Shakespeare is left in me, resisting to gloat with what I do in fact remember from Merchant of Venice, I leave you with some magic to end your day, or night, with. A reminder that life is less mundane in a world with more imagination.
If we shadows have offended,Good night!
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
Shakespeare's Globe, New Globe Walk, Bankside, London. Photos by Lady San Pedro.